Meet the Artists

Delina White is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and lives on the Leech Lake Reservation. She has a BS from Bemidji State University in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management, with a minor in Management Information Systems.

On behalf of her traditional Woodland style beadwork, Delina is a recipient of:

  • 2017 5-Wings Arts Council Master Artist;

  • 2017 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Mentor Fellowship;

  • 2015 Folk and Traditional Arts award from the MN State Arts Board;

  • 2015 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship;

  • 2015 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Technology / Equipment award;

  • 2014 Five Wings Arts Council Community Arts Leadership award;

  • 2010 Bush Foundation Fellowship.

"I learned to create functional art using the traditional methods and designs reflective of the natural surroundings of the woodlands, onto apparel and accessories such as moccasins, bags, and garments for wearing. The integrity of my artwork is important because it is a reminder of the Anishinaabe / Ojibwe history and its connection to my ancestors.

I work with raw materials such as hand tanned leather, bones and shells that first arrived in the Great Lakes area in the 1600s to 1800s, and through contact with the voyageurs in Minnesota which include: cotton, wool fabric, ribbon, glass beads, sequins, brilliant silver, brass buttons, coins, and mirrors.

Delina in PI17.jpg

Lavender Hunt  is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and lives on the Leech Lake Reservation. She is Delina's eldest daughter, received her degree in Culinary Arts from the LeCordon Bleu College of Minneapolis. She holds a MN Eminence Licensure for teaching American Indian Language and Culture.  She has held the titles of Miss Leech Lake and Jr. Miss Leech Lake, and is a champion dancer in both United States and Canada in the categories of Contemporary and Old Style Jingle Dress. Lavender finds inspiration in the world around us; the spirits that are within the trees, the animals, the Thunder-beings.

“Life gets so hectic and I can really appreciate that moment when the northern lights come out to dance. It’s a humbling experience; a time to reflect on the beauty of life and how splendid the Creator made everything. To show my gratitude and admiration for life’s spiritual beings I use my beads and sequins in the way that my grandmothers taught me. I like to use my work for the purposes of kinetic art that creates movement. My artwork is made to be worn and used. For example, I am especially pleased when I can make a little girl’s first jingle dress, knowing that I have made an heirloom piece. The traditional style of my beadwork is influenced by my mother and my grandmother, combined with a more contemporary use of colors and materials with my own original designs.

The Woodland skirts project is giving me an opportunity to work with my mother and sister as collaborating partners. It’s a time to share ideas and build upon our individual technical skills.  It’s also a very personal journey for me, one of healing and gratitude to all of the women in my life who have taught me the ways of Anishinaabe bimaadizowin (living a good life). I remember my first ribbon skirt and how important it was for my grandmother to make it for me. I felt beautiful in my skirt, and I want other women to feel beautiful in their skirts, too. This project is my way of giving back for all that I have learned.”